Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Mindfulness and the Art Of Staying Awake

I have invented - I think, though I haven't read much of Thomas Aquinas, and he may have got there first - the doctrine of Pre-Atonement. 

What happens is this, you build up a store of good deeds, which you then draw upon,when the necessity arises, to cancel out those occasions when you temporarily forget yourself and do something naughty.  I have appointed St Peter to keep the ledger, as I hear he has just been debarred from any further involvement with The Vatican Bank, and therefore, he  has time on his hands. 

Naturally, as I lead a blameless life, there is no occasion to test out the Pre-Atonement thesis. But then, I'm a Catholic and you can fall foul of God without even knowing it when you're a Catholic, so having a back-up plan is a good idea. 

I am getting around to telling you all about the Parochial Pastoral Council meeting that I attend, and take the minutes for, which happened last evening, and at which I pre-atoned for a barrel full of very juicy sins indeed.

I have been taking lessons in 'Mindfulness', which means, for the uninitiated, that you concentrate on staying awake. Now any Parochial Pastoral Council provides an ideal training ground, and that after a dozen of ours, I reckon I qualify as a Zen master. Give me the paper. Let me take the test. I'll ace it. 

My biggest obstacle is that I know what I'm doing. I can do meetings, strategic planning, project management, evaluation schedules ... . Such outrageous over-qualification automatically disbarred me from any active role in the running of the parish. So I take the minutes and gaze with blissful awareness in the direction of whomsoever  is warbling on about the colour of weatherboarding, and I smile. 

We made a decision. Don't run away with the idea that we didn't achieve anything. We chose which charities we're going to support. I was the only person to put her hand up for 'Mindsong' a charity that goes into care homes and sings to people with dementia. 

'You must know something about this one!' The chair is grasping at straws. Having the people present to represent the charity they nominated, smacks too much of organisation.

'Not a thing!' I beam, mindfully, 'But I want someone to come and sing to me when I've got dementia!' Oh, don't laugh, I was being serious. 

Do you want to know any more? I doubt it. So you can stop now. However:

 Ida Underwood burbles on, pathologically incapable of sticking to the point, or even of making one. She skits from thought to thought with no evident connecting consciousness. She epitomises mystery.

And on, and on. I'm still mindful, still awake, still smiling.

A mild flutter over commemorating the Centenary of The First World War. ( We who follow the Prince of Peace need to be careful about this one.)

No decision made on the weatherboarding.

And a huge moan about how we never get anything done.

Oh! God! Help me. 



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